The acceptable thing is that the effectiveness of any correctional effort has to be life-changing so that the positive changes remain tenacious.
A Texas Prison Major was quoted, Dilulio, 1987, p 146 that he does believe, like every one, from the director to the warden to the boss in the cellblock, that prisons can be run well and that, the prisons don't have to unsafe, unclean or un-educational. For good programs and good safety go together with good management.
In dealing with the intangibles, the perception becomes enormously relative. What is good for one is unacceptable to the other. Why is that There are so many variables at play here that to be able to provide a sustainable argument would be futile. Yet, behavioral science continues to endeavor, in a bid to come up with an acceptable measuring criterion. In this case, measuring the 'effectiveness' of the Probation Officers.
The Case Study presented here is a classic study of human action and reaction. It is evident that for an idea to be pushed ahead, a climate of awareness and acceptance has to be created before action can be initiated. Historically action for change is a constant for organizations. It is when the actions boomerang; to expose the ugly side of the initiator [read Probation Officers] that such a report creates havoc. It may be bad enough to bring in the public, the politicians, the social agencies, etc. into the fray.
We shall look at three very distinct, pertinent and fact localizing questions that are derived from the Case Study from Criminal Justice Organizations by Stan Stojkovic, David Kalinich, John Klofas, Organizational Effectiveness, Chapter 13, page 345347.
Firstly - Whose interests were served in the newspaper's evaluation of this department, and whose will be served by the proposed evaluation A news report of this kind cannot remain contained to a specific issue. In an all
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engulfing action, it would invade private as well as public domain. It did. From the newspaper's point of view the purpose was wholly served, it informed and instigated action. It prompted the resignation of the Chief. The newspaper may, by this, claim to have started a cleansing process.
For the Probation Department, the news report may have kicked up a lot of dirt. The newspaper's evaluation broadcasted the urgency for reforms in the functioning and effectiveness of the Department. It showed the chasm that exists between what is permitted and what was practiced by the Officers and the department as a whole. It played up the under utilization of the work force. More importantly, it brought out that the ultimate goal of providing effective rehabilitation services was not being achieved which was echoed by many social service agencies.
The newspaper report though it impaled the department, was good for it, for what should apparently have been an internal inquiry job was done externally by the newspaper and therefore remained objective. The report was not allowed to settle down; the newspaper's serial ensured that it drew the